So what gives? What's up with the disconnect between what many Americans clearly want, a sexy, skinny lean and mean body that looks hot in bathing suit, and what many of us unfortunately have: a fat and flabby, corporeal mass that looks awful in the mirror. In my opinion, the most important cause for the vast gulf that separates what we want our body's to look like and how they appear, is a lack of awareness of our flesh functions. We just don't understand how to care for our bodies or how the darn things work. This is a fundamental problem that lurks behind the health crisis that Americans confront in other areas of health and wellness as well, including life and death matters like cancer and heart disease. When it comes to weight, numerous factors are involved in how we put on the pounds and why they can be so difficult to lose. Certainly stress, biochemical; like cortisol, estrogen, and thyroid hormones play a role. And sometimes weight gain can be caused by dysfunction in the pituitary or pineal glands in the brain. But by far and away the most important cause of the phenomenon of flab is food. This problem is compounded by an exploitive, economic model of food production that preys on our naiveté and exploits our fundamental drives to sustain a nearly 2 trillion dollar food industry that depends on our ignorance for its survival.
Losing weight is "largely" a food issue and losing weight is easy. But it takes applying some science. Not to be satisfied with the shape and structure is obviously a "body" issue. And, our bodies are made of food. In essence, the human body is a food processing factory. To manipulate the appearance of our bodies (in terms of weight loss), we have to be aware of what food is and how this processing occurs. And then we have to be able to exploit and hack into the chemistry to this food processing. The stuff we call food is made up of four main components; macronutrients (protein and carbohydrates, i.e. sugar and fat), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), and miscellaneous (trace elements--water and food processing chemicals). Of these four, the most relevant for modifying weight are the macronutrients.
The human body has evolved over the course of many millions of years to run on an appropriate intake of protein, fat and sugar. There is an innate, hard wired system in the brain that can detect when these vital nutrients are missing. Under conditions of lack, it will do whatever it has to in order to make sure that the 'body below' gets what it needs. This system can be thought of as an appetite-stimulating center and it is especially sensitive to the presence (or the lack of) the macronutrients. Under deficiency conditions, this appetite center fires up and sends its owners (us) on a one-pointed hunt for food. Because our 21st century American eating style does not, for the most part, provide essential amounts or the appropriate balance of macro and micro nutrition, many of us find ourselves on an endless hunt to obtain these critical biochemical elements. Conversely, there is a second area in the brain that suppresses the appetite. Activation of this so-called satiety (satisfaction) center suppresses the appetite, and is the key to losing weight quickly and easily. Imagine that your appetite suppression center, the satiety center, had a switch. Further imagine that you could simply touch the button and you would no longer be hungry. Say you were getting married and you wanted to fit into that size 2 wedding dress; wouldn't it be nice to be able to simply suppress your appetite, reduce your food intake and drop a bunch of weight without struggle, strife discipline or will power. Well, guess what? You can! Your appetite suppression center may not have a literal on-off switch, but it has a biochemical one! Once this satiety center is activated you will find that you are no longer hungry. It's as simple as that. When this million year old brain circuit that is specifically designed to keep us from eating is charged up, you simply will not feel hungry. You flat out won't want to eat. You'll be able to just say no to even your most favorite of foods, no will-power required. How cool is that? Once the satiety center in the brain says enough, no matter how delicious that pizza or chocolate layer cake or strawberry milkshake looks or how irresistible it used to be, you simply will have no desire for them.
Of the three macronutrients that affect appetite drives, the satiety center is most sensitive to fat and protein. Whey protein and egg protein can be especially important. Meat and fish can also activate appetite suppression. No one binges on T-bone steaks. Dietary fats also have important appetite suppression effects. Essential fatty acids and a specialized fat called Medium Chain Triglyceride, which is found in coconut oil, can be effective for inducing satiety. Carbohydrates and sugars on the other hand stimulate eating behavior. This is especially, problematic in the case of processed fruits, refined grains and other carbs that have had their inherently filling fiber removed. And sucrose (table-sugar) sweeteners that are such an important part of candies, dessert foods and beverages are the most appetite stimulating of all food chemicals.
OK, so you want to drop 10 or 20 pounds here's what you do:
As with any health issue you are dealing with in the body, first and foremost, GET ON THE HEALTHY START PACK, or the new Healthy Body Start Pack 2.0.
Load up on protein, eat lots of good quality fat. Replace calories from bread, cereals and desserts with calories from seafood, meat, eggs, whey protein, and coconut oil. Olive oil, hemp seed oil and butter can help too. And don't worry about these fatty substances causing weight gain. Just make sure you're using them on salads and high protein foods. As long as you're not slathering your butter on bagels and Danishes, their satisfying nature can ironically result in weight loss as you're satiety center kicks in and your appetite is suppressed! Eat these kinds of food to the point where you're sated. And watch what happens. If you're like most people what you'll notice is you're just not as hungry. And when you're not as hungry, losing weight becomes a simple matter. No will power or Weight Watchers required!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm Ben Fuchs, a nutritional pharmacist from Boulder CO. I specialize in using nutritional supplements where other healthcare practitioners use toxic pharmaceutical drugs. I look at the human body as a healing & regenerating system, designed divinely to heal & renew itself on a moment to moment basis. "Take charge of your biochemistry through foods and supplements, rather than allow toxic prescription drugs to take charge of you.